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Darren – FM 2011 Newcastle enjoy decent start 11/12

Hey guys, welcome back to my FM 2011 Newcastle story. The gloves are now off and my wheeling and dealing has come to an end. During the last post we took a look at my new talent and I shared with you how happy I was. Afellay, Paloschi, Dudu and Gaitan will have a massive impact this season for a very low price. Today we’ll be looking at my first few months of games. I always find it vital to enjoy a great start, but this season is even more so as I am hoping to achieve a top four finish. Anyway, lets start in August.

August results

My pre-season went OK, but did leave a lot to be desired. I was hoping for a much improved start to my league form and got it against Fulham. Playing away from home was always going to be difficult, but we took the lead with an early strike from Dudu. Fulham replied quickly, then as the game looked like a stone cold draw up popped Paloschi on his debut. A great goal from the Italian gave us all three points in injury time. I decided to rest my key players for the 1st leg of our qualifying game in the Europa League. Ormonoia played well and I had to rely on Afellay to save the day from the bench, a 1-0 victory was under my expectations. Even a full strength Newcastle struggled for goals in the next match at Anfield. Luckily, Liverpool were kept at arms length though as we held out for the 0-0 draw. The second leg of my Europa League qualifier went well, Donaldson showed some potential scoring twice and then Dudu finished the game off. A 4-0 aggregate win saw the toon through to the group stages. The final game of August was just what we needed. Wigan were slaughtered at Saint James Park 5-0 to cap off a good month.

Newcastle 5-0 Wigan (Premier League)

Andy Carroll started this game as the loan target man. With Gaitan showing some real promise I was hoping he would cut inside from the left to assist the Newcastle favourite. Wigan tend to play a very defensive formation with two anchor men in midfield, very tough to break down. By using a counter strategy I drew them onto me before launching my attacks down the wing and exploiting the gaps.

Gaitan caused Wigan all sorts of problems when cutting inside from the left wing. He won the penalty and played a big part in the second goal. However, it was Afellay who shone brightest. Every attack seemed to start with him in the centre and he even managed two assists. This attacking midfielder may be on big wages, but his free transfer is starting to feel like a great piece of business.

September results

After coming through August unbeaten I had no intentions of letting my form slip. The first game of the month may have been at home to Manchester City, but my record against them speaks for itself. Last season saw me beat the Eastlanders twice and this season seemed to just carry on the great form as we won 1-0. Andy Carroll got his name on the score sheet again. Playing away from home in my next match against Sochaux seemed too easy as we took a 2-0 lead. Then the French side came out fighting for the second half and pulled it back to 2-2. Super sub Paloschi came off the bench to save us again though as an injury time goal earned the 3-2 victory. Newcastle made hard work of the next two matches. We just beat newly promoted Burnley away from home 2-1 thanks to Andy Carroll. After which our League Cup opponents, Portsmouth, almost showed us up at home. Thankfully Donaldson stepped up as one of the few players to play well in a weakened side, 1-0 saw us through to the next round. My unbeaten run stopped short at home to Spurs as we lost 1-0…I still haven’t worked out how to play well against the Southern side. These blushes were brushed aside in the Europa League match against Sevilla though. Araujo played very well as we won 4-0.

Burnley 1-2 Newcastle (Premier League)

My 4-5-1 seemed to be getting a lot of use lately and this match was to be the exception as I used a 4-4-2. Although I tend to use a counter strategy away from home, I decided to make exception here as we were against a newly promoted club. A standard strategy was used to try and win the match early on. Lets take a look at the match highlights.

Dudu’s great vision along with a lot of luck helped us scramble the ball home early on. Burnley replied well though and I was not sure if we’d gain all three points after their equalizer. However, Andy Carroll stepped up to slot home a late penalty. Another injury time goal had won my side all three points and saved us from having to settle with just one.

Newcastle 4-0 Sevilla (Europa League)

Relying on my trusted 4-5-1 formation seemed the best thing to do here. Sevilla are a very dangerous side and Fabiano can be a handful. I decided to stick by Araujo as my main front man for Europe, a poacher role seemed to get the best out of him. A few more of my key players were rested for this game as I need to rest my side when possible. The Europa League can create some fixture congestion and wasn’t ready to risk any injuries.

Although Araujo scored a hat trick in this game, my man of the match went to someone else. Gaitan was a genius on the left wing, his flair and crossing ability shone through with a masterclass performance. Sevilla really struggled with his direct dribbling and creativity. All credit to Araujo though as he did everything a poacher should do in scoring.

This wonderful display coupled along with the other good result left my side top of our Europa League group. There is still a long way to go, but I am hopeful of qualifying early. Depending on how the draw treats us, this competition could see Newcastle in the latter stages.

League table and squad stats

The Premier League table makes good reading for any toon supporters. Its early days but the good start has left us with 13 points and 3rd position. Hopefully the good form will continue and I can maintain my top four status. Manchester United look unstoppable and set to retain there crown from last year, but a top four finish could go to eight different sides at the moment. Lets just hope one of those teams is Newcastle.

This season seems to be getting a lot more from my strikers. Paloschi looks very promising, although he needs more time to settle. While Carroll is delivering in the league, Araujo is providing the goals in Europe. Afellay and Gaitan are both making an early impact with some assists, but Steven Taylor has proven to be my most valuable asset so far in defence. Danny Simpson and Enrique are doing well in the full back positions but the odd bit of complacency is still creeping in. The right wing position seems fiercely contested between Dudu and Jonas, Jonas seems to be taking the cherry so far. Though Dudu may need to be played more often as he is making his displeasure at a lack of regular football known.

October and November fixtures

The next two months will be about keeping up the momentum. All the big clubs are performing this year are do not look like dropping many points. Therefore a big points total will be required to attain the Champions League position I really want. October should see us gain a good few points, but the end of November will be tough with fixtures like Chelsea away and Manchester United at home. The problem is these big games are no longer a bonus if I win, they are now six pointers!

Well that is it for today’s post guys, I hope you are enjoying my journey with Newcastle and will be back next time. Please feel free to ask any questions below and I look forward to reading your comments as always.

 

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Ross Davies
Ross Davies
11 years ago

hey man this looks awesome, looks like its gonna be a tough battle in the top flight rankings. I was supprised to see no Vaclav Kadlec in your team. Thanks to your post on him, he won me the league cup and grab a handful of goals after i signed him in Jan.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Ross Davies

Hey Ross, I reckon its going to be tight in the rankings too…everyone seems to be getting very close to some major trophies from what everyones told me. Unfortionately Man City bought Kadlec before I had a chance to make my offer. They snuck in at the end of the season when I had no budget to bid with :( Thankfully I got Paloschi though. Glad my post could help mate. Its always tough relating attributes to how a player will perform so I though I’d make it a little easier as he is amazing. Looking forward to seeing what you win next mate.

Fabio
Fabio
11 years ago

so far so good

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Fabio

Thanks Fabio, ‘so far so good’ sums it up really. Nothing spectacular but we’re getting the right results.

Arjuna
Arjuna
11 years ago

Hey Darren,
You’ve done well, I like the victory against Sevilla. You have a nice Europa League group that you should qualify from
Arjuna

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Arjuna

Hey Arjuna, the Sevilla game was kind on the eye…hopefully we will be able to play some youngsters and qualify with ease.

Calin
11 years ago

Hey, Darren! I would call that start great, not decent! :P And I see that you also managed to get a Romanian team in the EC, which will make it once more even more interesting for me to follow.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Calin

Thanks Calin, guess your right, the start was very good. I must admit I thought of you and Johnny when Steaua were drawn. My wife is Romanian so I have seen them play a few times. Should make things a bit more interesting and if I beat them I certainly won’t tell the missus as she supports Steaua :)

Lye Kuek Hin
11 years ago

Hi Darren,

What a great start. Your team has perform well in the domestic and Europa league. The new players have adapted well and the should bode good signs for the season. Keep up the good work and start challenging at the top.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Lye Kuek Hin

Thanks Lye, I am really happy with the start and agree with you on the players. They should keep improving and hopefully we’ll be in and around the top four till the end of the season.

warren
11 years ago

Hi Darren

Good start but im hoping it gets better the three pronged attack of Paloschi, Gaitan and Dudu seem to be working wonders with the team and I hope that you can achieve what you set out to achieve this season

Good luck

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  warren

Thanks Warren, my attacking trio seem to be showing some very promising form already. They should keep improving and hopefully we’ll keep getting stronger as well.

paine
11 years ago

Giving Paloschi some time to settle is a right choice, be patient and that guy will make miracles for your team.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  paine

I agree Paine, tossing new signings straight into first team football can have a negative effect. I think he’s almost ready for though and can’t wait to see what he does.

Sears
11 years ago

That’s a good start Darren, your new players should settle in soon. Goodluck.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Sears

Thanks Sears, I think your right and this should see the form improve further.

GS Fan
GS Fan
11 years ago

Hey Darren,

Looking good! I can see you doing some impressive things this season.

I love the youth of your team. If you can manage to keep them (boo for Kadlec! he sold out for big money only to probably sit on the bench at City.) and they all gel, you’ll rule the EPL and be right up there in Europe every season.

ps. As for my Newcastel game. Life has been hectic these days. Hoping to get back on track very soon.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  GS Fan

Thanks GS Fan, I am quite proud of my youth and its great that I can involve them all now as well. I don’t know how long we will wait before the first title but my gut says not long. AS for your Newcastle game, Im really looking forward to seeing how your doing. Its good you dont over play it though.

Ana Garcia
Ana Garcia
11 years ago

Great start, Araujo and Affellay look very good.

I believe that Affellay is joing Barcelona (in real life!) although I dont know much about him, he seems to be a real star in your side so far.

Your squad has a nice depth to it and am so glad you have kept Jose Enrique! :)

Good luck on the next few months Darren, hopefully you can push for the four.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Ana Garcia

Thanks Ana, the new boys are really making a big impact. Enrique is a great player and I doubt he’ll be replacing over the next two or three seasons.

kevin
kevin
11 years ago

Hi Darren
Excellent start to the season and I particulary enjoyed the Wigan highlights. Ryan Donaldson looks like he’s making a name for himself!
All the best.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  kevin

Thanks Kevin, the Wigan game was a speticle. Donaldson is really weird, he’ll perform wonders one match then flop the next. I try to use him in lesser cup matches though.

Herman
Herman
11 years ago

Thanks for your advice on your previous story Darren. You’ve made another excellent start to the season, hope you can maintain this run of form and break the top 4 this time.

As for myself, the injuries caused me to lose top spot and the title with it, finishing 7 points behid Barca.

I’m now 3 games into the new season, and already beat them, so it’s 3 wins out of 3 Clasicos :)

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Herman

Thanks Herman, I think the top four will be broken into this season. Its a real shame those injuries hindered your season though. The more you play the game, the easier it gets to avoid these things. Hopefully you’ll keep everyone fit this season and topple Barca!! :)

paine
11 years ago

A nice start, I wasn’t so satisfied to see how you demolished Wigan…as I’m a bit biased nowadays, however you seem to have a well organized defensive line, you’re not conceding and this a good sign for the future.

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  paine

Sorry to thrash your side Paine, it was just business I promise ;) The back line really has proved strong so far, I just hope they can hold their own for the whole season.

Johnny Karp
11 years ago

That’s not a decent start, it’s a very good start! And I think that things will get a lot better once Paloschi will get into shape, he’s a great striker. Good luck!

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Hey Johnny, guess you’re right about it been a great start. The new signings are settling a little quicker than I imagined…Paloschi should catch them up son though.

Herman
Herman
11 years ago

If i do i’ll be sure to rush here!

Darren Smith
11 years ago
Reply to  Herman

Good to here mate, I love hearing how the sites followers are doing too.

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